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Thursday, September 5, 2019

John Wick Promotional Road Trip Coming to Mayfield Heights Best Buy on Sept. 17

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2019 at 11:44 AM

  • Lionsgate
One of the year’s top grossing movies, the critically acclaimed John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, arrives on DVD on Tuesday.

In order to promote the home video release, the iconic Mustang from the first two installments of film as well as the motorcycle from John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum will travel across the country to visit select Best Buy Stores, including the one in Mayfield Heights.

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See Brittany Run: Comedy About Reinvention and Exercise Transcends Trite Formula

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2019 at 11:21 AM

  • Jon Pack
Brittany Runs a Marathon is a millennial-oriented comedy with a narrative structure so familiar — underdog triumphs over adversity — that its eventual thoughtfulness comes almost as a surprise. By the end, it manages to impart some original wisdom on body image and self-respect, particularly as it relates to the perils of modern communication and courtship. It opens Friday at the Cedar Lee.

Groundlings and SNL alum Jillian Bell, (the undisputed scene-stealer of Workaholics), plays the titular Brittany. She’s an overweight woman on the precipice of 30 who commits to turning her life around after a doctor's visit takes a left turn. She wanted an Adderall prescription. She got a lecture about dieting and exercise.

Bell is an improv comedy native and a master of unscripted riffing. But this role is not exclusively, or even primarily, comedic. The layered and often petulant Brittany is a far cry from the over-the-top wackos Bell has been called on to portray in recent years. Still, she revels in improvised awkwardness. She’s at the center of two scenes of such pronounced discomfort that I nearly climbed under my seat.

The script, which follows Brittany as she painstakingly reinvents herself via physical exercise and associated life choices involving personal responsibility, is at times obvious and/or moralistic. The ensemble of supporting characters are conspicuous examples of books who shouldn't be judged by their covers: There’s Catherine, (Michaela Watkins), the affluent upstairs neighbor … who turns out to be a former heroin addict! There’s Gretchen, (Alice Lee), the ostensible best friend … who turns out to be a shallow social media prima donna! Then there’s Jern, (Utkarsh Ambudkar, whom fans of the Pitch Perfect franchise will recognize as the Treblemakers’ vocal percussionist extraordinaire Donald), the oafish man-child roommate … who turns out to be a sensitive and caring friend!

These are not spoilers. Most of the characters' trajectories are evident from the moment they open their mouths.

Ultimately, what makes Brittany so effective is that her attempt to run a marathon is akin to so many others' bold personal goals. Watching an underdog compete against long odds — and more importantly, against themselves — is inspiring stuff. I still cannot be sure whether certain scenes were set to Rachel Platten's "Fight Song," or if it just seems like they should have been, in retrospect.

While there are moments of strong comedic scene work, which was expected, the movie is stronger when it yanks at the heartstrings, which wasn't. 

Near the end of the film, we learn that 50,000 people run the New York City marathon every year. Far from diminishing Brittany’s efforts, that stat puts her story (which is based, we learn in the credits, on a real-life Brittany) in communion with a small city’s worth of people, all running for different reasons, chasing away demons or pursuing outlandish goals.

Brittany’s story is not an uncommon one, and it’s a good reminder that personal adversity is universal, and that reinvention and renewal are incredibly hard, but incredibly rewarding in the end.

Film Details Brittany Runs a Marathon
Brittany Forgler is 27 years old and a mess: her boss is disappointed in her, her doctor is worried about her, her friends don't respect her, and, worst of all, she doesn't respect herself. In search of a new life, Brittany laces up her Converse and runs one block. The next day, two. Pretty soon, a mile. She finally has direction, but is she on the right path? Brittany Runs a Marathon is the story of a woman who wants a better life, and sets out to conquer herself one city block at a time.
Comedy and Drama

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Locally Made Movie About the Opioid Crisis to Premiere at Atlas Lakeshore in October

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2019 at 8:34 AM

Because he lost so many loved ones to drug abuse while growing up, local writer and rapper Javon Bates wrote Common Creed — The Epidemic, a book that details his firsthand experiences related to the opioid epidemic, particularly in Ohio.

The book has now become a film; it premieres at 6 p.m. on Oct. 2 at Atlas Lakeshore in Euclid. Tickets are $30.

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque To Screen 'Apocalypse Now Final Cut'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 4:19 PM

  • Courtesy of the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque
Earlier today, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque announced that it's added the new 4K restoration of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now to its schedule. Apocalypse Now Final Cut will screen at 7:15 p.m on Tuesday, Sept. 10. It's a half hour longer than the film's original cut but 15 to 20 minutes shorter than 2001's Apocalypse Now Redux.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Terrific Cast Can’t Redeem Lackluster 'After the Wedding' Remake

Posted By on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 8:53 AM

  • Sony Classics
A remake of Susanne Bier’s 2006 film of the same name, After the Wedding features a stellar cast that includes Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Billy Crudup and Abby Quinn.

And yet, despite the talented cast, the film falls flat, in part because it hits viewers over the head with its message about the dangers of keeping family secrets, and in part because of its pacing. The storyline develops too slowly and fails to become engaging.

The movie opens on Friday areawide.

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

'Where’d You Go, Bernadette' Offers a Sympathetic Portrait of a Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Posted By on Thu, Aug 15, 2019 at 7:33 AM

  • Annapurna
A film about a fractured family that tries to reconnect during a trip to Antarctica of all places, Where’d You Go, Bernadette represents another character study from writer-director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, Boyhood).

This time, however, Linklater works from a novel, and the results are rather mixed. Cate Blanchett gives a solid performance, but the film comes off as the sentimental stuff you see on Lifetime.

The movie opens area-wide on Friday.

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Atlas Cinemas Lakeshore to Host a Special Screening of Cleveland Director Johnny Wu’s Latest Movie

Posted By on Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 1:47 PM

  • Courtesy of Johnny Wu
At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Atlas Cinemas Lakeshore 7 will host a special screening of Wu Xia 2 the Code, the latest movie from local filmmaker Johnny Wu. The movie combines science fiction visuals with Hong Kong-styled martial arts sequences that many of the actors choreographed themselves.

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